Ecological Monitoring in the Cañoncillo Forest
One of our research priorities of La Libertad Dry Forest Project is to determine and monitor the key species of flora and fauna in the Cañoncillo Forest and other dry forest areas in Pacasmayo. Through researching endemic flora and fauna, we raise awareness of the conservation priorities of the region and monitor their use of the habitat. The Cañoncillo Forest is very important because it is the only area with the largest number of algarrobo tree species in La Libertad, protecting it ensures the continuity of the ecological and evolutionary processes within the forest area, as well as avoiding the extinction of wild flora and fauna species.
With the help of biologist Homan Castillo Benítez, the project team identified some of the birds of the Cañoncillo forest in December 2020. The birds were sighted and identified in the intervention zone in the ACP-Cañoncillo forest with the installation of trap nets distributed at a distance of 40-50 meters between them. The birds that were identified during the process included the fasciated wren (Campylorhynchus fasciatus), the white-edged oriole (Icterus graceannae), the baird’s flycatcher (Myiodynastes bairdii), and the pale-legged hornero (Furnarius leucopus).
In addition to bird identification, a study was conducted in February 2021, to determine the relative abundance of flora in the 25.36 ha intervention area of Cañoncillo Forest. The study used line transect sampling to monitor the species. Seven flora species were found including sapote (Capparis scabrida), cuncun (Vallesia glabra), espino (Acacia macracantha), flor de arena (Tiquilia paronychioides), algarrobo (Prosopis ssp), vichayos (Capparis ovalifolia) and pial (Scutia spicata). The algarrobo and cuncun were among the most abundant and highly valued species found. This is consistent with the national legislation (Supreme Decree N° 043-2006- AG) which lists Prosopis ssp. as a vulnerable species of wild flora.